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Bias Binder Foot for Bernina, Husqvarna Viking and Janome Sewing Machines

For our September 2012 Foot of the Month, we look at different variations and uses for the Bias Binder Foot.

Before anything is sewn the fabric must be cut. As soon as fabric is cut the integrity of the weave is compromised, and the nature of woven fabric when it is cut is to fray or unravel. If left unfinished the cut edges become stringy and unsightly. One of the main goals of sewing is to have all the seams and edges finished so that they will not unravel, especially when washed, and that they stay strong and look nice.

In some sewing processes, like sewing two layers of fabric together for a collar or a facing, the seam is hidden and it is protected from unraveling. Garments that are lined are another case where the seams are never seen and if they unravel a bit it does not affect the finished product.

There are other times where the seams are exposed and need some kind of treatment to keep the edges from unraveling. There are many ways to do that with contemporary machines that have a variety of stitches, and traditional methods for straight stitch machines. The choice of seam or raw edge finish depends on the desired look, the machine capability, and the feet and attachments available.

Traditional seam finishes include French seams, flat felled seams, and seam tape that was sewn over the raw edge to cover it. There has been from early days a binder attachment available for straight stitch machines that is designed to double fold a bias strip around a raw edge. Today there are many more feet and attachments for binding the edges, and there are many more choices of seam and edge finishes, especially with the expanded capability of today’s machines. Sergers are now the most widely used of all machines for professional seam finishes.

With all the available choices, the home sew-er today may not choose the binder attachment as often for a edge finish method, however, bindings are foremost on quilters’ minds as it is the final step to finishing the quilt. While there is nothing finer than a quilt binding sewn by hand, there are non-traditionalists or other reasons to sew the binding on by machine. Speed comes to mind. But having the right foot or accessory to do quilt bindings well has been a challenge for some time.

Bound edges are a very nice way to finish cut edges in the garment industry and craft world. Examples of other ways to use bias bound edges are as a seam finish, necklines, plackets, tops of pockets, ties, doll clothes, outer edges like bibs, appliance cover edges, bias trimmed tucks, stained glass appliqué (self made leading), attach bias binding with inserted lace, ribbons, rickrack, ruffles, use forward motion decorative stitches while attaching binding, and use in place of a serger .

Bias tape is fabric cut in strips at 45 degrees to the grain of the fabric and it has some stretch qualities that allow it to mold around edges. It can be purchased pre-made and pre-folded, and is readily available but in limited colors. It comes in various widths and is either single folded or double folded. It can add a nice contrast to the sewn article as it will seldom match.

Make your own bias tape and it will match perfectly or have any color or print as desired. The fabric should be starched (or use any starch-like product) and pressed. Then it can be left flat to work with some of the attachments, or have the raw edges pressed toward the center known as “single fold” that work with other styles of binder attachments. There are folding devices available to make perfect pre-folded bias tape yourself.

From the early days of straight stitch machines there has been a simple binder attachment that admittedly worked for some things with varying degrees of success depending on the operator. Improvements have been made which include adjustable binders, and binders that are more like what is used in factories with great precision. The newest binders on the market have a revolutionary new design that makes turning perfect corners a snap, something that has always been difficult at best, which should please many quilters.

Tools needed for successful bias binding:

  • Stiletto tool for feeding fabric into binder
  • Bias tape makers available in several sizes
  • Spray starch or Best Press

General Tips:

  • Hold flat fabric in left hand while guiding it into the bias binder.
  • Keep the bias tape feeding straight into the bias binder so an equal amount of tape is fed on the top and bottom.
  • Cone-style bias binder tips: Insert bias binding into the cone BEFORE attaching bias binder onto the machine.

With so many variations of binders, here are details as to which binder is best for each type of binding, and which type of bias tape is best for each binder. There are four binder feet or attachment styles to choose from but depends on which machine is used:

1. Cone or simple binder foot, finishes ¼”: Use ½” single fold bias tape or cut your own 1″ bias strips

2. Adjustable binder foot, finishes ¼” to ¾”: Use ½” to  1-1/2” single fold bias tape

3. Bernina binder attachment for single fold bias tape, three sizes, uses pre-folded bias tape

4. Binder attachment for unfolded bias strips, swing away for corners, three sizes, uses unfolded bias tape

Janome Bias Binder Foot – 1 Style

Janome Bias Binder Foot

  • Cone-style bias binder
  • Finished size: 1/4”
  • Use with purchased 1/2” single fold bias tape
  • Make custom single fold bias tape yourself: Cut bias strips 1” wide

Husqvarna Viking Bias Binder Foot – 3 Styles

Husqvarna Viking Adjustable Bias Binder Foot

Husqvarna Viking Adjustable Bias Binder Foot

  • Finished size: 1/4” – 3/4”
  • Use with purchased single fold bias tape
  • Make bias tape yourself: Cut bias strips 4x the desired finished size. Use a
  • Clover Bias Tape Maker to press binding strips into single-fold bias strips.

 

Husqvarna Viking Cone Style Bias Binder Foot

  • Finished size: 1/4”
  • Use with purchase 1/2” single fold bias tape
  • Make custom single fold bias tape yourself: Cut bias strips 1” wide

Husqvarna Viking Bias Binder Foot – 1/2”

  • Finished Size: 1/2”
  • Cut bias strips 2” wide and press with Clover bias tape maker #25 (25mm or 1”)

Bernina Bias Binders and Binder Foot – 3 Styles

Bernina Simple Binder (aka cone style bias binder)

  • Use with Bernina low shank adapter #75 (purchased separately)
  • Finished size: 1/4”
  • Make custom bias tape yourself. Cut bias strips 7/8” wide.

Bernina Binder Attachment #87 (3 sizes available)

BERNINA Bias Binder Foot - Example

  • Foot #95 or #95C required – purchased separately from binder attachment
  • Use with single fold bias tape
  • 13mm – Finished size 1/4” – cut 1” strip and press with clover bias tape maker #12 (12mm or 1/2”)
  • 20mm – Finished size 3/8” – cut 1 1/2” strip and press with clover bias tape maker #18 (18mm or 3/4”)
  • 25mm – Finished size 1/2” – cut 2” strip – use with clover bias tape maker #25 (25mm or 1”)

Bernina Binder Attachment #88 (3 sizes available)

  • Foot #95 or #95C required – purchased separately from binder attachment
  • Use with flat (unfolded) bias strips
  • 28mm – cut 1-1/8” bias strips – Finished Size: 1/4″
  • 32mm – cut 1-1/4” bias strips – Finished Size: 5/16″
  • 38mm – cut 1-1/2” bias strips – Finished Size: 3/8″

 

Double Bind Quilt Binding

Pattern compliments of Oak Street Quilts & Bags

 

Use a bias binder to complete the edges of this Strawberry Reusable Grocery Bag.

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